It's The Florida Project! That is, until I finally have an opportunity to see Phantom Thread and Call Me By Your Name. We'll see.
My most anticipated films of the year were Dunkirk, I.T, Logan, Wind river and Star wars the last Jedi. While the first four never let me down and were all fantastic films for the cinema. I'm going to have to go for ( even though I've not seen it yet) star wars. The buzz and the fact Rian Johnson is directing and has already been trusted to make a full New trilogy suggests this will no doubt be the cinema experience of the year.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is the film of the year. An original story of suffering, anger and vengeance. Frances McDormand gives the performance of a lifetime. And it is a credit to the script and directing that we are rooting for someone, who objectively isn't a nice (to say the least). And it has a superb cast--Sam Rockwell is amazing and his character has a great arc. Woodey Harrelson is wonderful in a role where you expect him to be the villain, but he is something else entirely. And the story is wonderful in not tipping you off on where it is going, but not cheating you. We need some billboards on the Kennedy Expressway so that you guys will recognize your oversight in not including Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri .
I actually loved all three of your options, especially Lady Bird, but The Florida Project is my easiest “best of the year” pick in years. It is a reminder of how powerful and moving films can be. The pacing is extraordinary. Through the early leisure, we are made to love these characters so deeply that when their vulnerability and pain are exposed, it inspires emotion as raw as any I have felt at the movies in a long time.
When Call Me By Your Name opens up by me, I may beg you to open the polls back up, but for now, it’s The Florida Project.
By the way, there’s a good chance I would not have seen The Florida Project in theaters if I hadn’t seen Tangerine. And there’s a very good chance I wouldn’t have seen Tangerine if I wasn’t a Filmspotting fan. These year-end “best of” lists, and especially your Golden Brick discussions, are tremendously effective, and I’m tremendously grateful.
I'm sort of bewildered that Get Out isn't being heralded as both the most important and best film of the year amongst avid filmgoers. No other film this year has so delicately yet provocatively challenged and rewarded viewers. Jordan Peele structures the inner details of this genre-bending work masterfully and creates an experience that shocks you with its horror and then reminds you that the warning signs were there all along. Coupled with these fascinating ideas, it's got acting, cinematography, writing, and directing as good as any I've seen this year. My number one spot, for sure.
The Florida Project is the film I connected most with this year. I absolutely love how Sean Baker straddles the line between fiction and non fiction. Based on real people in a real area of Florida portraying a very real issue, but this story is one that could only have been told fictionally. Baker captures childhood wonder, through the eyes of Mooney, like I've never seen before.
For to see this world through Mooney's eyes is to view it from a distance. Michal Chabon, while writing about Wes Anderson and the themes of grief that are explored in that director's films, theorized that grief is too powerful an emotion to understand at full scale. But by distancing ourselves allows us to see it whole and better understand it. This idea I feel applies to the world of The Florida Project as seen through the distance of Mooney's POV. This creates a deep sense of irony that persists through the film. It's an absolute joy to follow Mooney on her adventures, she treats the world of the motels as her personal playground. But we know that what she sees as her playground is actually a broken system, and that many of it's inhabitants are in dire situations. It's an odd dichotomy falling in love with these characters and wanting to spend more time in their world, while being grateful that I've never actually had to.
I liked Get Out, and to a lesser degree, Dunkirk (I have not seen Lady Bird-I find Greta Gerwig...annoying), but my favorite movie of the year is Kedi (which may not count as it was made in 2016 I believe?), but it did come to my local theater in 2017. For these interesting times we live in, Kedi had me leaving the theater feeling great about humanity and our capacity for caring. All of the stories of the various cats and their humans were fantastic.
Like every year, I have to to click "Other". This year my vote goes to "The Square". Although there's still plenty of movies from this year that I have to see.
I am going to throw a wildcard in here and say... Silence was the best movie of 2017. I know, I know - you'll say, "it was a 2016 movie!" But consider some of the most lauded movies of 2017: Lady Bird, The Florida Project, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water and The Post - none of these will arrive on my shores until 2018. So instead of comprising, and picking a movie from an incomplete field, I am going to go back and reclaim a movie that was similarly unavailable to me this time last year.
And of all the movies that were theatrically available to me across 2017 (by Australian release), Silence was truly the best. It was released in February, and over the ensuring ten months, only a handful of movies came close to topping it , yet nothing ever did.
Some might call it slow, because it was, but it was never boring. Beyond being a staggering exploration on the hardships of what it meant to have faith in a dangerous time and land, it was an assured piece of work from a master filmmaker who knows how to hone total control over the rhythm and texture of a film. Plus it gave Liam Neeson one last shot at showing the world that he has more to offer the world other than various Taken sequels and knockoffs.
As a consolation, I'll nominate the Safdie brothers' Good Time as a runner-up and the best actual 2017 movie of 2017. Kind of the complete of Silence in style, it was a heart-pounding, exhilarating, neon-lit nightmarish ride from start to finish. The kind of movie that you won't forget any time soon because it burns its images in to your brain.
Lady Bird and Get Out are runners up for me (both top 5 or 6 in a surprisingly good movie year), but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri easily surpasses them. While maybe not at the level of In Bruges or his brother's Calvary, McDonagh made a movie that does not pretend that things are less complicated than they are. As in McDonagh's (and his brother's) other films the tonal shifts would be jarring if the characters weren't as well drawn and acted as they are. McDormand and Rockwell particularly stand out, but the whole cast is great. It's a film that allows nuance in a year that seems devoid of it. Not to mention it's one of the funniest movies of 2017:
"Penelope said begets?" gets my vote for line of the year.
Dunkirk is not bad by any estimation , but does not belong in the same sentence as Ebbing or the other two nominees. There are at least a dozen better films than it out this year.
I voted 'other.' I am going to be the philistine in the group and say my favorite film of 2017 (so far) was 'Wonder Woman.' I rewatched it recently and had tears streaming down my face during the island training and battle scenes and then again as Wonder Woman charged from the World War I trenches. Much of the film is thrilling, inspiring, gorgeous film-making.
I also really enjoyed your three offerings. Of the three, I'd say 'Get Out' was my favorite because it was exquisitely crafted to tell a darkly comic horror story. I haven't seen 'Florida Project' yet but I suspect it would rank very near No. 1 for me.
Why is Mother! so overlooked or dismissed? Aronofsky’s latest is by far the best film of the year. It tells a story that could only be told on film, and it’s ambiguous enough to last for generations. The marriage of text and subtext in film is a delicate balance that Mother! manipulates so deftly in the audience that it’s initially off-putting. It’s not that the film is saying it’s smarter than the audience, it’s that the film is inviting the audience to be an active member of its game. Stand up for posterity, Filmspotting, and declare Mother! the FILM of the year. Imagine if this were a Golden Brick contender, you’d champion it to the bitter end. None of the options presented respectfully challenge the audience the way Mother! does. Dunkirk is an amusement park ride at a history museum. Get Out is Ira Levine meets Alfred Hitchcock. And Lady Bird is a very special episode of Degrassi High. Mother! is dangerous and thrilling and the best film of the year.
I don't think I realized how much I loved Lady Bird until I was forced by this list to reckon with the fact that I liked it better than Dunkirk... and I saw the true IMAX Dunkirk experience. Don't get me wrong, that experience, which was my second viewing, was stunning in almost every way I can imagine. It's a nearly perfect movie and seeing it on that big of a screen shook me (literally). But the truth is that despite its "smallness," Lady Bird hit me on a different level. I hesitate to say deeper... but whatever, I'll say it. It hit me on a deeper level.
Even as I write this I feel like it's unfair to compare the two films because of how shockingly different they are. Throw Get Out into the mix, a wonderful film which on a different chilly morning might have taken my #1 spot, and you've got three absolutely terrific films that also couldn't be more different in the way that they explore and exploit the tools of cinema. It feels like the only thing these films have in common is that they were made with a camera.
Anyway, at the time of this post "other" is leading the pack, but take heart Adam and Josh! It was a good preliminary list. What it lacked in breadth, it made up for in its ability to shake me out of my "obviously Dunkirk" malaise.
Keep up the good work!
In a fairly abysmal year for big budget films, with the studios pumping out CGI-ridden mediocrity with assembly line efficiency, DUNKIRK reinvigorated my love of big movies. DUNKIRK basks in its sheer size, from the massive army stranded on the beach, to the vast expanses of the ocean and sky, to the 65mm negative, and the huge IMAX screen and aspect ratio. I have not seen a studio film so unapologetically sure of itself in a long time. It felt as much about filmmaking itself as it did about the rescue at Dunkirk and it reminded me why I love going to the movies.
Pat from Oxford, UK: I voted Other (for the wonderful The Florida Project) because Lady Bird hasn't been released here in UK yet, and I'm so keen to see it after everything I've heard. Of the other two choices - I would have voted for Dunkirk, as a visceral immersive cinematic experience, and recalling Christopher Nolan's answer to the question of why there hasn't been a film about this before: because it's a British story, moreover it's about a defeat, and it needed American money to make it happen. Nolan must be the only British director who can command that kind of money. The Florida Project is a great next feature after the brilliant Tangerine - both movies do something with material and film style that you don't really see anywhere else, and that's what I like when I go to the movies.
With many films still unseen I can only offer a limited opinion but so far this year has been a tug of war between The Beguiled and Personal Shopper. Nevertheless, I'd like to leave some room at the top for Phantom Thread and Call Me By Your Name which I am highly anticipating.
"The Florida Project." Between it and "Tangerine," Sean Baker has shown an unrivaled skill in finding the rainbows within characters and locations most movies - heck, most of society - won't go near. Pointed, but not preachy. Brutally honest, yet open-hearted. Choosing any other film this year? "You're a disgrace!" (He says through giggles.)
While I would love to pick such great films as Logan, The Big Sick, Mudbound, or Blade Runner 2049; nothing has left quite the impact on me Wind River did. Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut is nothing short of haunting. The story is wholly engaging to the point that I could feel the chill of the snow-covered Wyoming plains and was almost moved to tears with the film’s resolution. Renner’s stone cold performance is riveting, as is Gil Birmingham’s quiet devastation. On top of all this, it provides three of the strongest scenes of the year: those being the inciting incident, the resolution of it, and the movie’s final chilling moments. While I have yet to rewatch it, the depressive mist hanging over many characters impacted me enough to where I feel like it will never leave me. It truly is the best film of the year and it is a travesty that more awards groups don’t pick it up partially because of the horrible quality of those behind the scenes. All that considered, it’s the film that hasn’t left my thoughts all year and one I look forward to once the dread of its real life tragedies are long behind.
The Disaster Artist!!!
It's about human behaviour.
I didn't watch as many movies this year compared to previous years. My most anticipated movies were Wind River and The Florida Project. My vote stands with Wind River.
As of now my favorite hands down is David Lowry's "A Ghost Story." I am still playing catch up with a ton a movies from 2017, but Lowry's film has stuck with me since I watched it. The whole time thing may not work, but it is such a beautiful film with a lot of depth. Really want to see Lady Bird.
This poll question would usually be extremely hard to answer, but that is not the case for this year. Kogonada's Columbus is by far my favorite movie of the year, and in my opinion, also the best of the year. I rarely feel such a profound connection to the characters as I have with this film. I would give anything to spend more time with both Jin and Casey in this beautiful town full of masterful architecture. Kogonada did an outstanding job of giving me a sense of atmosphere and depth in this film that I have maybe never experienced so strongly. I am still spellbound by Columbus after seeing it over two and a half months ago and I honestly hope that I never get over that feeling.
Keep making new iterations of Best o' 2017 Lists; keep putting Dunkirk at the top, despite my feeble attempts to do otherwise. Maybe this will be one of those "experience" movies that fades with time, but - at least for the moment - Dunkirk's ability to make the past feel like the pulse-pounding present (with a capital P) earns it the number one spot for me.
Also, what Jaws was for water, Dunkirk will be for the sound of airplanes over head.
It's a good dilemma to be in when there is a wealth of great films, like the ones listed above and also including Good Time, Lucky, Faces Places, In the Fade, Call Me By Your Name and The Other Side of Hope, but Sean Baker's third feature is the one that did it for me. It has a deft combination of bringing gravity to the lives of its' characters but never ends up feeling like poverty porn. The move to film from iPhone on Tangerine shows that Baker and his collaborators are not just trying to tell stories with rich characters. There's a sophistication to the visuals that surpasses anything I've sen this year.